Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Sacred sewing spaces

Sewing spaces are sacred, right? Regardless of whether they are fully-kitted, dedicated rooms or humbler, carved out spaces within a kitchen or a living room, for most stitchers they are special spaces to be creative in, to relax in, to work in, to learn in, to think in, to dream in, to escape in, to so much more in…

Do you agree, or am I alone in thinking this?

Tilly has beautifully argued the notion that sewing transforms lives (in my opinion so does learning) in a recent provocation paper and surely sewing spaces have a key role to play in the process.

Despite all this though, I’ve not been treating my dedicated sewing space (aka the spare bedroom) with the respect it deserves lately and it has had a significantly negative impact on my sewing productivity. Ironically, I think this is a direct result of the very fact that I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated space in the first place…a place that I can make lots of mess in and shut the door on! For the record, I am actually OCD clean (spotless bathroom, kitchen etc), but sadly this isn’t mirrored in my tidiness levels, which can shockingly result in this…





Absolutely appalling, I know! No wonder I haven’t been very productive lately, what with hardly being able to get into the damned room! Anyway, I decided that a long weekend was my chance to take the deteriorating situation firmly in my hands. I spent Monday and Tuesday buying all sorts of containers and sorting through everything and I feel so much better for it. 

I now have a clear workspace, resulting in a clear headspace. 


I've managed to neatly fit the bulk of my supplies onto the bookshelf lurking behind the door - one thing this exercise has made apparent is that I need absolutely no more patterns or fabric! 


Top shelf patterns are for skirts, tops and aprons/pinnies. Second shelf is ALL dresses 30s-40s in the first box, 40s-50s in the middle one and 60s-current in the last one.


I finally organised my fabric too! Top shelf - shorter lengths for pinnies, accessories etc. Middle shelf - vintage fabric and heavier fabric. Third shelf - plainer and better quality fabrics for more elegant garments. 


I have a mini bookcase which is where the overlocker lives, alongside my sewing notions (top shelf, organised in glass jars so I can actually see what I have) and sewing/fashion related books. I even bought a cutting mat to make me feel extra professional!


Finally, I've decided to store my many current/ongoing projects into a box, because I was at risk of losing pattern pieces the way I had them lying around  before!


It's such a cute box don't you think? My lovely friend Angela bought it for my birthday this year...thanks Angela!


I've always been envious of neat sewing spaces - Jane's, Gina's, Tilly's, and Laura's to name but a few - and now I have one of my very own! Long may it last!

What's your sewing space like? Are you at your most creative in a neat environment or does mess not phase you?  

14 comments:

  1. Yay, it looks lovely! I love storage, boxes, jars, bags etc.
    I'd love a dedicated sewing space, but I'd probably treat it terribly. I only tidy up after myself now because we need the kitchen table to eat on!
    Ashley x

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  2. I'm dying to have an entire room to dedicate to sewing... but for now I have my studio taking over my living room/ dining room area. Your sewing space looks great! Definitely will help you feel more productive :)

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  3. you did a fab job sorting it all out! sewing is one of those that before you know it everything's everywhere!!
    I sew in my bedroom, it can look like a bomb has gone off at times! but me and my boyfriend are house hunting so hopefully and with a few kind words of persuasion I'll get to have a dedicated sewing room all of my own lol! :D x

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  4. It looks great now :o) I have to say I think I create better when my space is tidy. If it isn't I tend to start feeling horribly overwhelmed and stressed, which defeats the purpose of it being my relaxation!

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  5. My sewing space is a small area in our dining room. I'm forced to keep it clean b/c we have an open dining/living room. When we buy a house, I want my own little room. When my space gets cluttered, I can't focus. I find that I sit in my little area even when I'm not sewing. It's my oasis.

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  6. What a wonderful transformation!

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  7. I love seeing all of those beautiful vintage patterns in a safe place! Great job! It's so easy for sewing projects to get everywhere!

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  8. YEAY - I am so glad that you posted the 'before' photos - they remind me a lot of my room! I need to show them to my boyf and tell him to stop nagging me about the mess! And ooooo - love how the room looks now...very Zen! All those lovely fabrics and patterns, how I'd love to have a nosey through them!
    But you are so right about the mess leading to poor productivity - I am definately the same.

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  9. That's hilarious and heart warming. I love the vacuum stranded in a corner of the room, unable to do anything!

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  10. Looks like we're all more productive in a tidy environment, which makes sense really!

    Ashley, I do think that having a dedicated space makes me messier for sure! Not any more though I hope ;o)

    Sarah, hope you manage to persuade your b/f to get a place with a spare/sewing room!

    Suzie, I hope my 'before' photos help to get your b/f off your back! Of course I mostly hope that they inspire you to tidy up...hehe ;o)

    Karen, brilliant spot with the vacuum cleaner...poor little thing! It's been put to great use since the tidy up though!

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  11. Very nice, I believe you when you say this organization will make you a ton more productive!

    I can't wait until I have a whole room dedicated to sewing, right now I just have a corner in the bedroom. I do end up keeping it tidy, mainly because I have to see it every morning (it's that "starting with a clean slate" sort of thing, you know?). I have no doubt it would be an absolute wasteland if all I had to do to hide it was shut a door. It's really not in my nature to be tidy. ;)

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  12. Oooh thanks for mentioning my sewing room Marie! I'm completely with you on this, I can't sew a thing if my space is a mess. I'm a bit of a tidy freak in my sewing room too, so I nearly passed out when I saw your 'before' photos, but will be able to sleep soundly tonight having seen the 'after' ones! Your room looks absolutely lovely and I'm VERY envious of all your gorgeous patterns. x

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  13. Yey it looks awesome! I can't wait to get my new sewing room sorted once I move house on my return...I am definitely a fan of storage containers, I love the idea of being neat and tidy even if it doesn't quite happen that way...!!

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